Tortola's past comes to life on this comprehensive tour of its premier attractions, which trace the island's history from the early Arawak Indian settlers to the present day.
Depart from the pier in an open-air safari bus and drive to the nearby Government House Museum, which occupies the former residence of Her Majesty's representative, the Governor. Inside its eclectic interior, you'll gain great insight into Tortola's development from the days of the Arawak Indians through the British Colonial rule and into the most recent era. At one time, guests included members of the British Royal Family.
Next, it's on to Sunday Morning Well, one of the most meaningful, historic sites in the British Virgin Islands. It was here in 1834 that the Proclamation of Emancipation was read, freeing the resident slaves who worked under the English plantation system. You will also see the St. Phillips Church ruin at Kingston, one of the few remaining structures from the Plantation era. More history awaits you at the Maritime Museum, much of it involving Tortola's celebrated boat building over the centuries and housing artifacts from famous shipwrecks.
You'll also see a more modern depiction of the island's past, as you traverse the winding Ridge Road just outside of town. Before long, you'll come upon a vivid mural painted by a local artist. It's adorned with colorful scenes of life after the emancipation of the British Virgin Islands. Some of the panels show islanders fishing, harvesting sugar, attending school and dancing in celebration. The mural is an inspiring work of art that leaves you with an excellent understanding of Tortola's rich history. From this point, it's a picturesque drive back to the pier along the Blackburn Highway.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. Guests are cautioned that the path to the Government House Museum is steep. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the safari bus, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns should carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual light-weight clothing, sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.